I admit it: I’m a bit of a Cinephile. Ok, I’m A LOT of a Cinephile. I try to see just about every movie that comes out at theatres in the theatre, and for every trip I make to the theatre with another person, I make about eight by myself. If my extroversion and social nature have a formidable adversary, it is films. And popcorn with about three gallons of “butter” on it (layered, obviously).
I’m not the only one. I think most psychologists would agree that “Netflixophelia” is a real thing to be reckoned with.
So with all these movie nerds lurching around desperate for their next fix, why do I feel like in order to know where and when I can watch something, I’m forced to either conduct my own searches on each individual channel / platform, get lucky enough to catch an advertisement during a campaign stretch, or be forced to read some bloated online column called, “What’s New On <InsertChannel> This <InsertMonth>”?
What I’d like is one simple application to handle my entertainment addiction, let me know when stuff is available, where I can get it and how much it might cost me. I’d also love preference-based recommendations that spans all channels, not just Netflix, who keeps telling me to watch something from their infinite catalog of C-movies because I once got desperate and streamed a John Cusack thriller.
By the looks of it, AlertFilm might be able to help.
Just launched in January of this year by three founders who might collectively be 14 years old, AlertFilm is an application with a simple premise: combine all the content from all the streaming platforms so users can quickly discover and access their preferred films, get the latest news about areas of interest and only require one app to always know when and where things come out.
One place for Cinema, Netflix, iTunes, Plex and soon, Amazon. When something is finally released on a streaming platform, or in theatres, I can get a notification. If I want to see whether or not something is available on the Canadian version of Netflix, or for download on iTunes, I can quickly check that in one place at the same time. There is even an integration with Rotten Tomatoes to show critic and audience reviews.
Rather than being contained to one single channel or platform, AlertFilm also curates a “Watch List” so that I can manage a backlog of “must see” content that again spans theatre releases and home streaming services. They also mention “torrents”, but I’m just gonna leave that one alone for now…
Ya, I have Flixster and I use the living shit out of it, mostly for the consolidation of showtimes at nearby theatres and reviews. But the ticket purchase process is not intuitive / I can’t really figure it out (nor does it allow me to use my movie points program), the experience is entirely passive (they don’t alert me of releases) and they only support cinema and Netflix in two separate locations within the app, with Netflix being located in the “DVD” section because I guess they’re trying to be hilarious (though I will admit I still buy Blu-ray discs every once in a while).
One thing AlertFilm will want to offer sooner rather than later is Android support and inclusion of on-demand television programming. As soon as they tackle that, I would think that screen time shouldn’t be a problem. Though they may also want to rework the name a bit…
Ben is a Toronto-based writer and public speaker with more than a soft spot for 90s hip hop. He has spent over 10 years in business & tech, more than 20 in the arts, and an entire lifetime in a state of perpetual judgment (highly recommended). He is the author of the blogs This Is Your Brain on Dating and Love Gone Cray and can be found pontificating on Thought Catalog, Notable.ca, The Toronto Standard, Offline Magazine, Gasm.org and Huffington Post.
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